Profile – Founder Chairman

Kaushal Kr. Sharma

Chairman – K.K. Sharma Law Offices

FORMERLY

  First Director General & Head of Merger Control of functional CCI

   Commissioner of Income Tax, Govt. of India

  Founded an internationally acclaimed (covered by national and international media including, in its world edition of Oct 22, 2012, by Global Competition Review (GCR)) legal consultancy firm, KK Sharma Law Offices (‘Firm’), specializing in competition law, tax and regulation.

The first clients included Fortune 5oo companies such as:

  • Reliance || International Associations of Business
  • Industry and Sovereign Governments

   In its brief existence till now the Firm has carved a niche for itself by unfailingly delivering success to its Clients/Constituents. The Firm has got relief to its Clients if accused in indulging of violation of competition law running into huge amounts including a matter of Public Sector Insurance Companies in which a relief of $105 million US Dollar (INR 670 Crores) was obtained. Similarly be it a multinational conglomerate or a real estate multinational giants headquartered in India, the Firm has been very successful in getting penalties imposed on big corporations if any of the constituents of the Firm has come forward as a victim of contraventions of the law – either competition law or other laws. A relief of $1.53 million US Dollar (INR 100 Crores) to the promoter of the biggest private airline in the country in tax penalties and similar other reliefs form part of the body of work of the Firm. Despite having an adverse investigation report the Firm has been able to help its Clients escape from potential penalties up to $462 million US Dollar (INR 3000 Crores) or lesser figures with proper hand holding of its Clients during the entire investigation and adjudicatory process. The Chairman of the Firm has been nominated for various awards in the past for being the pioneer in competition law.

   Over the years, the Firm has successfully dealt with matters in diverse sectors such as automobiles, real estate, insurance, liquor, manufacturing and trading, shipping, manufacturing, oil & chemicals, bulk road transportation, future trading of agricultural commodities, power generation and transmission to name a few.

   The Firm has contributed chapters on ‘Private Antitrust Litigation’ in GCR 2013-16, ‘Vertical Agreements and Dominant Firms’ in International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) 2017.

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Antitrust Division- dealing with instances of violations relating to Anti-Competitive Agreements and Abuse of Dominant Position under the Competition Act, 2002

   A rich and comprehensive experience in various Government Departments / Bodies including Competition Commission of India(CCI -an autonomous statutory Market Regulator and Anti-trust watchdog of India ), Income Tax Department (Government of India),wherein I served as a Commissioner of Income Tax, and a brief stint with Tata Group in Indian private sector.

  • First Director General & Head of Merger Control of functional CCI.
  • Nominated as one of a few individual members of Research Project Partnership (RPP) Platform of UNCTAD, on Competition Law and Policy.
  • Active member of International Competition Network (ICN) Merger Working Group since 2008.
  • Editing the Indian Merger Control Chapter of Global Competition Review for last 5 years. Contributing to GCR’s Private Litigation handbook.
  • Member of Global Advisory Board of Bloomberg Anti Trust Regulatory Report
  • Regular speaker at National and International Forums/Seminars/Workshops and Conferences on competition law including the International Bar Association Conference on India’s New Merger Notification Regimes in March 2008 in New Delhi, OECD Korea Centre in November 2008, the Tenth Session of Inter- Governmental Group of Experts (IGE) of UNCTAD in July 2009, Asia M&A Forum 2010 in Hong Kong, India FDI Forum in Singapore in May 2010, GCR International Merger Control Conference in Brussels in September,2010, Sixth U N Review Conference on Competition Law and Policy from Nov 8 to 12 , 2010, RPP Platform of UNCTAD in July 2012,CIIAI International Symposium in March 2013,CRESSE Summer School of Competition Law, 2014, Greece, 6th Chinese World Economic Forum, Chongqing ,National Conference of Newly Elevated High Court Judges at National Judicial; Academy, Bhopal in January, 2015, CRESSE Summer School of Competition Law, 2015, BRICS International Competition Law Conference, Durban, Dec 2015, Regional Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Los Angeles Dec 2015, International Conference on Food Value Chains and Competition Policy, May18-20,2016,CRESSE International Conference on Competition Law, July 2, 2016, 65TH ANTITRUST LAW Spring Meeting MARCH 29–31, 2017 WASHINGTON, 2nd session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, 3-4 July, 2017, Geneva, 8th meeting of the UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform (RPP) 5 July, 2017, Geneva, 16th session of the IGE on Competition Law and Policy, 5-7 July, 2017, Geneva , CUTS-CIRC 5th Biennial Competition, Regulation and Development Conference, 09th-11th November, 2017, Jaipur, Asian Competition Forum 13th Annual Conference, 11th & 12th December, 2017, Hong Kong etc .
  • Led a successful amendment to the draft agenda for the Sixth UN Review Conference (held once in five years), in November 2010, in favor of developing nations in Tenth Session of IGE in UNCTAD.
  • Contributor to different journals, publications on competition law including International Financial Law Review (IFLR), Competition Policy International: Anti Trust Chronicle, Competition Law Reporter, Bloomberg, Antitrust Section of American Bar Association etc.
  • Had an outstanding track record as an exceptional tax administrator and financial investigator including detecting extremely huge concealments in cases of top corporate houses and individuals of the country.

Ph.D. || (Competition Law from Bangor University, UK)

  • Topic for Research – “The Approach to the Implementation of Competition Law in Developing Economies”

MA (Economics for Competition Law)

  • Topic for Research – “King’s College, London || 2013”

PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Right Laws

  • National Law School University , Bangalore || 2013

PG Diploma in Economics for Competition Law

  • King’s College, London || 2009

MA (Economics) || 2008

Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) || With Merit || 1993

ME(Mechanical Engineering) || With Merit

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee || 1986

BE (Mechanical Engineering) || With Merit

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee || 1982

   August 27, 2012 – Till Date

  Legal consultancy –Chairman, KK Sharma Law Offices- a law firm with focus on Competition Law, Regulation and Tax

   August 12, 2011 – August 27, 2012

   Commissioner of Income Tax, Government of India—Supervision of revenue assessment and collections

   March 2011 – August 12, 2011

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Combinations – Made the regulations of combinations functional in India for the first time after regulations of combinations (Merger Control) came into force, from June 1, 2011, in India. Supervised the first Merger Reviews of India with exceptional speed and effectiveness

   December 2010 – March 2011

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Antitrust Division- dealing with instances of violations relating to Anti-Competitive Agreements and Abuse of Dominant Position under the Competition Act, 2002

  April 2010 – December 2010

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Merger Control, CCI

   Established Merger Task Force, for the first time, in India, from the scratch

   This included creating entire procedural and analytical frameworks relating to merger filings in India as well as dry/practice runs in a number of cases

   June 2009 – April 2010

   Director General in-charge of Investigations for the newly enforced competition law in India

   Established the entire investigation establishment under competition law in India including creation of all the procedures/formats etc. and making them functional in the inaugural six investigations under competition law in India.

  April 2006 – June 2009

   I was involved in the drafting as well as first time implementation of competition law in India- serving in different capacities such as Advisor (Law), Additional Director General, Director (Administration) etc. in CCI.

   August 1987 – April 2006

   The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in different senior capacities having diverse responsibilities such as maximization of revenue collection, vigilance, audit, investigations including that of conducting dawn raids across the country, representation before Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) etc.

   August 27, 2012 – Till Date

   Established K K Sharma Law Offices with a focus on competition law, regulation and tax.

   August 12, 2011 – Till August 27, 2012

   Exceeded budget collection targets for corporate tax payers in Kerala state of Union of India.

   March 2011 – August 12 ,2011

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Combinations – shouldering the historical responsibility to make the procedures and analytical systems ,for regulations of combinations, functional in India for the first time when regulations of combinations (Merger Control) became effective, from June 1, 2011, in India.

   December 2010 – March 2011

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Anti-Trust Division. Advised the CCI on all violations of anti-competitive conduct/cartels and abuse of dominant position under competition law.

   Stream lined procedures, enhanced the quality of advice and groomed the team to do a better and in-depth analysis of competition law violations.

   April 2009 – December 2010

   Advisor (Law) in-charge of Combinations Division. Involved in the task of laying the foundation of Merger Control, for the first time – a new area in India’s competition law enforcement

   Created a blue print of procedural and analytical framework for inquiring into regulations of combinations (Merger Control) for the very first time in the country.

   June 2009 – April 2010

   Laid the foundation of competition law investigation in the country as the first Director General of the functional CCI by completing inaugural six investigation reports into the allegations of violations of competition law in diverse sectors of the economy.

   From April 2006 – June 2009

   Involved in the historical task of laying the foundation of competition law and Merger Control, for the first time – a new area in India’s competition law enforcement

   Drafted a large number of formative discussion papers and implementing regulations. These background efforts were instrumental in the enforcement of competition law being effective, in India, from May 20, 2009.

   From 2005 – April 2006

  Brought under investigation many high tax yielding cases for the first time in the Income Tax Department.

   From 2003 – 2005

Helped improve success rate of appeals of Income Tax Department, from nearly 4% to over 40%, in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

   From 2000 – 2003

Successfully detected tax evasion in important cases, including those of very senior and influential politicians.

  • By imaginative investigations, detected covered the concealed expenses of foreign travel of a well known actress of the country.
  • The successful investigations done covered a large number of big corporate players – including the leading business houses of the country.

   From 1997 – 2000

Initiated and successfully investigated the instances of nonpayment of tax, for many years, by sixty three leading corporates of the country including the top most ten industrial houses of the country, by non-declaration of tax by these corporates in the issue of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) by them, bringing more than INR 50 Billion (or $1000 Million) income into tax net in a single year.

Instituted and successfully concluded an investigation, resulting in bringing more than INR 2 Billion (or $ 40 Million) into the tax net, in the case of a leading airline.

  • As a result of this unparalleled investigation, the Revenue Department woke up to the potential of international taxation and a separate Directorate of International Taxation, headed by a Director General, was constituted. Today it is a significant contributor to the revenue collections of the country.

   From 1993 – 1997

As in-charge of dawn raids, investigated a wide spectrum of cases involving steel manufacturers, builders, commission agents, diamond merchants, film producers, film stars, play back singers etc across India bringing into tax net more than INR 1000 million (or $20 million) in concealed income. The proforma for the Preliminary Statement during dawn raids, to expedite process, designed by me in Mumbai still survives.

  • Some of the investigated cases also resulted in discovery of violation of more stringent laws such as Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) (now FEMA) and COFEPOSA.

   From 1987 – 1993

Investigated many tough cases of tax evasion, transformed the inspection procedure in Income Tax department by suggesting an inspection system for range offices across the country

   From 1982 – 1984

As an Engineer with Tata Robins Fraser Ltd. devised a procedure for tuning of bulk material handling vibratory feeders.

BOOKS

1. Competition Commission Cases: A Compendium of CCI Cases from 2009 to 2014

Publisher – LexisNexis

Year of Publishing – June 2014

2. Chinese Companies in the Indian Market – Challenges Faced (Chapter 29):

China International Institute of Antitrust and Investment, First Annual Antitrust Symposium 2013

Edited by – Frank L. Fine, LexisNexis

Year – November , 2013

3. Guide To Competition Law

Publisher – Thomson Reuters

Year of Publishing – 2016

4. Indian Philosophy and Walt Whitman

Publisher – Abhishek Prakashan LexisNexis

Year of Publishing – 2016

ARTICLES

1. Competition Law Reports, December, 2017
“Bid Rigging and Corruption”

2. Competition Law Reports, September, 2017
“Future of Competition Law”

3. Competition Law Reports, July, 2017
“Real Estate and Competition Law: Uneasy Companions”

4. Competition Law Reports, June, 2017
“SC on Penalty of Violations of Competition Law”

5. Competition Law Reports, May, 2017
“Crime and Punishment – Car Spare Parts Case before COMPAT”

6. Competition Law Reports, April, 2017
“An Ode to the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT)”

7. Competition Law Reports, March, 2017
“Matter of Penalty on Insurance Companies”

8. Competition Law Reports, February, 2017
“Vertical Restraints on Trade in Competition Law”

9. Competition Law Reports, January, 2017
“Baby Steps of Competition Law Jurisprudence in Pharmaceutical Sector”

10. Competition Law Reports, December, 2016
“Some Thoughts on CCI Part-III : Advocating Advocacy”

11. Competition Law Reports, November, 2016
“Some Thoughts for CCI Part-II: Participatory Competition Law Enforcement”

12. Competition Law Reports, September, 2016
“Some Thoughts for CCI-Part I”

13. Competition Law Reports, August, 2016
“Post-DG Investigation Inquiry by CCI”

14. Competition Law Reports, July, 2016
“Counter Point –VI: Minority order overcoming Its Minority Status- Kapoor Glass vs. Schott glass”

15. Competition Law Reports, July, 2016
“Post-DG Investigation Inquiry by CCI”

16. Competition Law Reports, June, 2016
“Are Genuine Informants Shying Away from CCI?”

17. Competition Law Reports, May, 2016
“Counter Point – V: First Economic Study in DG Report to examine two models of fee paid to air travel agents- Imposition of penalty in Uniglobe vs. TAFI matter”

18. Competition Law Reports, April, 2016: Counter Point – IV
“First successful case of predatory pricing in India- Imposition of Penalty on National Stock Exchange”

19. Competition Law Reports, March, 2016
“Counter Point – III: Anticometitive Practices in Pharmaceutical Sector- Case No C-87/2009/DGIR of Varca Druggist and Chemist against Chemist and Druggist Association, Goa”

20. Competition Law Reports, February, 2016
“Regulating the Unregulated: Exempted Combinations”

21. Competition Law Reports, January, 2016
“Directions for investigations by Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT)”

22. Competition Law Reports, December, 2015
“Importance of Being a Member of CCI: Order in ‘Jaypee’ Case”

23. Competition Law Reports, November, 2015
“Directions for Investigation by Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT)”

24. Competition Law Reports, October, 2015
“Mechanism for Compensation for Competition Law Violations in India”

25. Competition Law Reports, September, 2015
“Counter Point – II: Jet-Etihad combination approval in Combination Registration No. C-2013/12/144”

26. Competition Law Reports, July, 2015
“Counter Point-I: Stem Cell Collection Case No. 39/2012”

27. Competition Law Reports, June, 2015
“Full Commissioning of Commission’s Merger Review Process”

28. Competition Law Reports, February, 2015
“A 360 Degree Review of Penal Provisions’ Application under Competition Law”

29. ABA Section of Antitrust law, January, 2015( 2014, Volume 4)
“Automobile Manufacturers Fined for Restricting Access to Replacement Parts”

30. CPI Antitrust Chronicle, Oct 2014(2)
“Merger Review in China and South East Asia: Does It Smell of Protectionism?”

31. Competition Law Reports, September, 2014
“Recalling History: Creation of RPP Platform, in 2010, within Competition Law and Policy Branch of UNCTAD”

32. Business World, August 12, 2014
“Is Sun-Ranbaxy Deal Heading For A Probe?”

33. ABA Section of Antitrust law, August, 2014, Volume 2
“DLF Penalty Cemented by Indian Competition Appellate Tribunal”

34. Competition Law Reports, July, 2014
“COMPAT rules ‘An Abuse of Dominant Position Must Be Dealt With Iron Hands”

35. Competition Law Reports, June, 2014
“Necessary and Sufficient’ Test: Healthy Inter Regulatory Relationship-Part I”

36. Money life, 4 June, 2014
“M&A regulations: Competition Commission Irons Out Rough Edges”

37. Competition Law Reports, May, 2014
“Fine Tuning of Combination Regulations: Freedom from Fear”

38. Competition Law Reports, April, 2014
“Counter Point: Legacy of Dissent- Sparks in the Competition Law Jurisprudence Evolution”

39. Competition Law Reports, March, 2014:
“Consumer Interest: Need It Compete with Competition”

40. Bloomberg BNA, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Report, 106 ATTR 117, January 24 , 2014:
“Vertical Restraints on Distribution under Indian Competition Law”

41. Competition Law Reports, January, 2014
“All That is to Know, for CEOs, on Competition Law- A CEO’s Pocket Guide on Competition Law”

42. Money life, 20 November,2013
“Jet Airways & Etihad deal: The fiction of ‘time out’ in Combination Regulations”

43. Business World, 7 November, 2013
“Damocles’ Sword Of 210 Days”

44. Money life, 7 November, 2013
“Jet-Etihad deal: Can public interest be a victim of exclusionary conduct of CCI in a merger review?”

45. International Antitrust Bulletin, ABA Section of Antitrust law, October, 2013, Volume 3 :
“Time For a Make –Over :Proposed Changes in Indian Competition Law “

46. Competition Law Reports, October, 2013
“Review of Non-Horizontal Mergers: Is it nothing but an enquiry of horizontal competitive issues only in other situations?”

47. Bloomberg, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Report, 105 ATRR 381, Sept 20, 2013
“Cartel Enforcement in India”

48. Business World, 19 September, 2013
“Perish or Prosper: Dividing Line of Regulatory Compliance”

49. Money life, 19 September,2013
“Making a Smart Choice: Thin Line between Compliance and Collusion”

50. Competition Policy International, CPI Asia Column, September 3, 2013
“India: Prohibition of Anti-Competitive Agreements and Abuse of Dominant Position”

51. Competition Policy International, CPI Asia Column, August, 2013
” State of Merger Control in India”

52. Bloomberg BNA, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Report, Vol.105,No.2608, July 26,2013
“Past, Present, and Future of Merger Control Regime in India”

53. Business World, 14 June, 2013
“More Power to Competition Law”

54. Money life, 14 June,2013
“Laying a stronger foundation of competition law in India”

55. International Antitrust Bulletin, ABA Section of Antitrust law, November, 2012, Volume 3
“Antitrust Enforcement in India: A Review”

56. Competition Law Reports, August, 2012
“Competition and Regulation: A Judicious Mix needed for Inclusive Economic Growth”

57. Competition Law Reports, July, 2012
“National Champions: Competition Law and Domestic Industry”

58. Competition Law Reports, Special Issue, April, 2012
“Reality Bites: A Review of the Penal Provisions under the Competition Law”

59. Competition Law Reports, March, 2012
“The Combination Review in India: Lessons So Far – Part II”

60. Competition Law Reports, February, 2012
“The Combination Review in India: A Mid Year Review – Part I”

61. Competition Law Reports, January,2012
“The Long Arm of the Law: The Doctrine of ‘Extra-territoriality’”

62. Competition Law Reports, November-December, 2011
“Inter-Regulatory Space: A case for healthy cooperation”

63. Competition Law Reports, October, 2011
“Past, Present and Future of Competition Law in India”

64. Competition Law Reports, July-August,2011
“Treading the Thin Wedge between ‘Unfair Trade Practices’ and ‘Abuse of Dominant position’ “

65. Competition Law Reports, May-June, 2011
“SSNIP Test: A Useful Tool, Not a Panacea “

66. Competition Law Reports, January-February, 2011
“Economies (Efficiencies) – An Essential Consideration in Merger Analysis”

67. Competition Policy International (CPI) Journal 27th July, 2010
“Maximizing Competition in the case of Two Sided Markets”

68. International Financial Law Review – April 2010
“A Brief Snapshot on Indian Merger Review – Stakeholders Speak Up”

69. Competition Law Reports, March 2010
“Philosophy behind the Combination Regulations of India”

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Automobile

Having got one of the global automobiles giants imposed with a fine of Rs. 87 crores amongst other instances, our grip on this sector is complete. KK Sharma Law Offices ('Firm') has dealt with the procurement of services of Car Carrier Trucks by market leader in automobile sector in India and brought the anti-competitive practices to the fore.

Banking And Finance

The very first investigation in the country into competition law violations was made which resulted in a cascading effect of company after company giving up the claims of loan foreclosure charges in home and car loans across the country, amongst others, were under taken.

Bulk Transportation

When the allegations of cartel were brought before the enforcement machinery against the flexible conveyor belt manufacturers they were clear in their mind that only KKSLO can deal it successfully and, accordingly, they availed our services.

Film

The very first successful instance of cartelisation dealt by the competition agency in the case of Ficci Multiplex Association was very successfully dealt with by the competition agency under the overall supervision of Mr. Sharma.

Future Trading of Agriculture Commodities

The very first penalty on the leading stock exchange of the country exceeding Rs.50 Crores was based on the investigation done by the Mr. Sharma. Subsequently, when there were allegations of future trading and guar gum and other similar commodities, for saving the enterprises from huge fines, the Firm was the natural choice for representing these companies.

It may not be that well known no manufactured vehicle can leave the premises of the manufacturer except without being loaded on to the car carrier trucks. When the instances of anti competitive practices came to the fore, the Firm was the first choice to taken services from.